What is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious infectious disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This bacterial infection affects human lungs by spreading quickly, and causing damage to other organs. It is an airborne disease, and spreads through the air and can infect people who live in close proximity to each other. Smoking and consumption of tobacco and alcohol increases the risk of developing the disease. The types of TB may be regarded in two categories: active disease or latent infection., Active TB is when the disease is actively producing symptoms and can be transmitted to other people, while latent disease is when the person is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, but the bacteria are not producing symptoms (usually due to the body's immune system suppressing the bacterial growth and spread) and have no TB bacteria in the sputum. They could, however, become active at any time. As per a report, TB mostly affects women aged 15 to 44 years and an average of nine million people across the globe every year.

Tuberculosis Symptoms

Tuberculosis in its later stages primarily affects the lungs but could affect other parts of the body as well. Infection in the lungs is called pulmonary TB and that occurring outside is called extrapulmonary TB. The most common symptoms associated with the onset of the disease are:

  • Fever with chills.
  • Night sweats.
  • Loss of appetite, and weight loss.
  • Fatigue and tiredness.
  • Cough with mucus and blood.

Tuberculosis causes

The most probable causes of this disease include:

  • Bacterial infection.
  • Spread of infection through the air when a patient coughs, sneezes, spits, laughs or talks.
  • Close contact with a person suffering from the disease.
  • Liquor consumption.
  • Tobacco and smoking.

Tuberculosis Risks

The main risk factors for the disease include: 

  • Weak immune system.
  • Overcrowding and malnutrition are major risks affecting economically backward families.
  • Conditions like HIV and diabetes.
  • Silicosis, a lung disease also increases the chance of getting infected.

Prevention of Tuberculosis

In order to prevent the occurrence of this disease, one should take care of:

  • Taking a good ventilation.
  • Natural light.
  • Maintaining hygiene.
  • Using protective masks while travelling.

How is it diagnosed?

Based on symptoms, diagnosis of the disease is not easy. At Medanta, following are the means to diagnose the disease: 


How is it treated?

At Medanta, the treatment for TB begins with a combination of antibiotics.


  • Antibiotics

    The most commonly prescribed antibiotics are isoniazid and rifampicin. The duration and dosage of the medication depend on age, severity, overall health, and resistance power of the patient. A patient with latent TB needs just one antibiotic, whereas those affected by active TB need a combination. The shortest duration of the course in each case is 6 months.

When do I contact the doctor?

One should immediately contact a doctor if they begin to face symptoms like fatigue, fever with chills, weight loss, and heavy coughing. All these symptoms will be treated just right by our medical experts at Medanta. 

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